15C LE: Will 10K units get sold quickly?



#26

I think that there are people who are passionate about calculators at HP and that we can thank them for the impetus to deliver the 15C LE into our eager though ungrateful hands. On the other hand, I don't believe HP as a corporation would have built the machine without a solid expectation of profit. I believe they have done market research that told them an initial run of 10K units would probably sell out. If they did that, It appears to me they were correct. Buy.com has sold northward of 2K units, and has reportedly jacked the price up to $199.95. I'm betting they are looking at the end of their allocation. How many did they get? I'm guessing it's around 3K. Other dealers in the US received units too, and we haven't accounted for EMEA or Asia. Surely there are units earmarked for those regions as well.

The great question in my mind is whether this apparently brisk sales volume is due mainly to enthusiasts like us, or if ordinary calculator users are snapping it up, perhaps due to the cachet and reputation earned by HP in the 1980s, but kept alive by enthusiasts over the years. If a more general customer base remains interested in the 15C, then we could see it reenter normal production. This would be great news for us, since engineering costs for things like bug fixes could be spread out over a wider base.

I also think that enthusiasts like us are a great guerrilla marketing resource for HP. In my wish fulfilling imagination, I see the 15C LE as a scheme to fire us up in preparation for the launch a new high end calculator. *sigh*


#27

Do you think we can nag them enough to do a 200LX LE? Does MS still license DOS 5.0? :)


#28

Their are options for a DOS replacement.

#29

They'll probably do it if you ask, but it'll run WebOS. :)


#30

And it will just over a quarter of an inch thick with a 10" screen and made of unobtainium...

Edited: 15 Sept 2011, 5:40 p.m.

#31

A question and a statement:

1. Where did you get your numbers from for units that buy.com had? When I asked them early the very first morning their listing went up they told me they had 1,000 in stock.

2. Buy.com is apparently sold out. They did not boost their price. It is another seller, Sampson Innovations selling through their store that is selling the 15C LE for 199.99.

Cheers,

-Marwan


#32

Quote:
1. Where did you get your numbers from for units that buy.com had? When I asked them early the very first morning their listing went up they told me they had 1,000 in stock.

I noticed that my first unit from buy.com had a LE number of 336, and that later units sold by them were in the 2200's. While it's true they could have received two or more lots with discontinuous numbers, there's at least a chance that the difference in numbers could represent actual units sold.

Quote:
2. Buy.com is apparently sold out. They did not boost their price. It is another seller, Sampson Innovations selling through their store that is selling the 15C LE for 199.99.

I didn't know that. I guess it remains to be seen if the new street price will hold up.

If they started with 1000 units, as you were told, it would still represent 10% of the total production run. Selling that many units quickly is remarkable enough.


#33

Quote:
If they started with 1000 units, as you were told, it would still represent 10% of the total production run. Selling that many units quickly is remarkable enough.

No argument there.

If they really did sell 1,000 units in under a week and Sampson Cables has already sold out their first shipment wouldn't this be a reason for HP to consider turning this into a regular item in their lineup?

I can't quite decide if the very quick sellout is good news or bad--are we just going to see a new round of price gouging or is HP going to come through for us and make it a standard item?

Cheers,

-Marwan


#34

Th 15C has a lot of competition from current models. I personally would not choose it based on features/dollar. Instead I want one because I think it's neat, but once everyone like me has one I can't see many more selling.


#35

I really don't see that the 15C has any current competition. The 35S is not terribly well regarded, most people here don't particularly like the 33S, and all other options are large graphing calculators.

That is not to say that the 15C is the best calculator HP has ever built. I would have to choose the 41 (for it's I/O) or the 42 (power and convenience) for that distinction. But the 15C has no current competition.

What would you buy instead?

Cheers,

-Marwan


#36

The 35s could have been something great, and the first reactions were very positive. I still think that the 3*S (\30S) series is easy to use but powerful, and the concept of the 35s brought it to a new level. But the bugs and the problematic keyboard killed it for professional use. Very sad story since it seems to sell well.

To me, the 15C appears to have all the features I need and more, while having a good form factor. A 42S would be overkill for me, in terms of power and cost. I bet I'm not alone with this opinion.

#37

Quote:
I personally would not choose it based on features/dollar.

Reading this forum, you can tell that opinions vary on this. I lean toward your view, but then I wonder if the advantages the modern RPN machines have over the 15C are maybe not a concern for the largest number of potential customers. A two line display and alphanumerics might be not much help to some users. With regard to programming, I recall some discussion here about how many 12C users actually program their machines. I think the consensus was that probably few users did that. The 30B comes with an overlay for programming functions precisely because most users don't want those functions. Those are business calculators, and the technical market probably has a larger percentage of users who could program their calculators. But maybe those folks save their programming for their computers, and instead use their calculators to um.. calculate? All of is preamble to say that the advantages the 35s, say, has in programming may not actually matter to a modern 15C buyer.

This is all speculation though. I honestly don't know what's true one way or the other. However I think the interesting thing is letting the marketplace figure out which opinion matches the buying public's requirements.


#38

Quote:
All of is preamble to say that the advantages the 35s, say, has in programming may not actually matter to a modern 15C buyer.

I think you nailed it, there.
#39

The $199.95 and $6.67 for shipping at buy.com (actually Samson Cables):

http://www.buy.com/prod/hp-15c-scientific-calculator/223173356.html

And to think I ordered mine last week for $73.99 last week. Free market at work. Must be a lot of demand for the supply.

#40

I think all this talk about "enthusiasts" misses a large point. There are many thousands of engineers, scientists, even draftsmen, for crying out loud, of a certain age range, who used Voyagers (not to mention other types) in their careers, and who will want a 15c LE, if they find out about it.


#41

Good point. I sort of lumped them together under "ordinary calculator users," but I can see that segment deserves consideration on its own.

edit: On further reflection, for many purposes, an engineer who used Voyagers in school and still wants a 15C could be thought of as an "enthusiast." People like that might or might not read this forum or go to HHC, but they could still be influential in spreading the idea that the 15C was something special.

Edited: 15 Sept 2011, 12:39 p.m.

#42

I agree. When the engineer next to me at work saw my WP-34S he was intrigued but mentioned what he really wanted was the HP calculator he had used years ago. After some head scratching, we realized it was the HP-15C. When the 15CLE came out, he ordered one in minutes and is eagerly awaiting its arrival.

He's never been on any HP group sites. He just wanted a tool that served him very well again. I suspect there are many in that catagory...

#43

although made in Asia (China), i don't trust that the 15C LE will ever reach Malaysia. Hence my early decision to buy from Samson. still waiting for the consignment to arrive.

#44

Maybe, but just for us, collectors, aficionados and sort of. I have two children (17 and 14) and they want an Ipad, a Blackberry and, if at all they ask me for a pocket calculator, a Casio fx 991 ES will do absolutely well. If I give then an HP 15C they will ask me for the tactile screen. Do you really think that an LCD screen from the 80s can compare to the dot matrix one of the Casio or let alone the retina screen of the Iphone? For me, I would love to own an HP 15C to turn it on for a while and then back to my drawer!. Using it for programming, solving engineering problems and so on is impossible when you compare with other HP calcs like, lets say, the HP 48 GII. That's my point of view. HP will no sell ten of thousands of this machine like the HP 12C.


#45

I think all this talk about "enthusiasts, collectors, aficionados" misses a large point. There are many thousands of engineers, scientists, even draftsmen, for crying out loud, of a certain age range, who used Voyagers (not to mention other types) in their careers. They probably don't know anything about this forum, or the ups and downs of HP's calculator division in recent years, but they will want a 15c LE, if they find out about it.

Think Baby Boomers (US). They're buying all sorts of stuff these days for nostalgic or similar reasons.

Besides, the 15c is a well-implemented, compact, good-looking, useful calculator.


#46

Quote:
Besides, the 15c is a well-implemented, compact, good-looking, useful calculator

... but featuring an outdated display for a programmable scientific of 2011. Given the costs to get the 15C LE in/to this part of the planet and the bugs reported so far, I'll probably refrain from buying one here. It's a very nice calc, but the antecessor of the 42S only :-/

Just my 20m€ as usual. Ceterum censeo: HP, launch an up-to-date 43S!

Walter


#47

Quote:
... but featuring an outdated display for a programmable scientific of 2011.

Agreed. It is not state of the art, but my point is, that's beside the point. Because even though it is not state of the art, it is a useful calculator in its own right, and it will have wider appeal than just a few "enthusiasts."

#48

Agreed. But it could have a much wider appeal ... d:-/

#49

Don't be so quick to judge. I'm 22 and keep an HP 32s in my bag. I don't own an iPhone, I have an iPod touch, and I honestly don't like trying to use the touchscreen for a calculator. Calculators with real buttons are honestly more efficient for quick back-of-the envelope math (especially if they're tactile buttons like HP instead of mushy Casio or TI ones). Even at work, I found my 32s more convenient for doing a quick decimal to hex conversion than clicking buttons on my computer, which probably has more compute power in the microcontroller for the battery pack than my calculator.

#50

I informed 2 european friends who don't collect HPs, but who still use a 11C and a 32S because they like RPN and there is no decent replacement.

They ordered 4. I hope they will not get disappointed by the bugs and the bad keys which some of us reported.


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